Providers Urged to Make ‘Direct Contact’ for H.R. 6641

AAHomecare calls on HME stakeholders to meet with lawmakers and staff in person, over the phone, or via video on behalf of Medicare reimbursement legislation.

After hearing from both legislators and their staff that they have not heard directly from HME stakeholders about H.R. 6641, the American Association for Homecare is calling on providers to directly contact their Representatives’ offices to ask them to co-sponsor the reimbursement bill.

Launched in the House on Feb. 8 by Reps. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) and Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), H.R. 6641 would require that CMS apply 90/10 blended Medicare reimbursement for items in the 13 product categories CMS did not award contracts for in Round 2021 of competitive bidding. The increased rates would apply to claims from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2023.

Currently, the bill has 10 co-sponsors. Key co-sponsorship candidates include the 95 Representatives that signed an October 2021 House sign-on letter urging CMS to work with stakeholders to fix reimbursement.

“Your representatives in the House are waiting to hear from you!” an AAHomecare statement read. “A phone call or meeting using Zoom or another video call service — or meeting in person — is the most effective way to make a strong impression on your legislators and staff. In a brief call or videoconference, you can contrast the disconnect between Medicare rates against the costs and operational requirements you are facing — and how that disconnect impacts your business and the patients you serve.”

The association added that an email to a Representative’s healthcare staffer is the most important first step in connecting and making an impression with that lawmaker. To assist that effort, AAHomecare has made resources available on its Medicare Reimbursement Legislation Campaign Central web page.

The association added that setting up an email might require multiple emails or calls with a healthcare staffer and added that forging that relationship can help set the stage for requesting an in-person meeting with the Representative when lawmakers return to their home districts during the House’s April 11-22 recess.

“Our challenge is significant; passing legislation with a sizable budgetary impact will require a sustained and powerful advocacy effort,” the association emphasized in its statement. “We need everyone on board to move H.R. 6641 forward.”

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